harmonicprogression

The Importance of Vocal Health

In Ability, Best Practices, expression, Know This, Music, Music Business, Performance, Singing, You HAVE to on March 8, 2011 at 6:01 am

Guest Blog by Vocal Coach - Jessica L. Ford

Vocal health is important but have you ever wondered why? What does taking care of your voice really mean? It means always warming up before you sing. It means never straining. It means keeping yourself hydrated. It means not smoking and allowing for sufficient time to rest after a long day of singing. Do you wonder why these things are so important? Here are three good reasons why…

1. Poor vocal health can result in a few different problems, some being permanent or eventually requiring surgery. Wouldn’t you hate to ruin your career because you failed to warm up properly one time and strained to hit a high note or even crack on stage? It certainly would be embarrassing, and it happens all the time yet can absolutely be avoided.

2. When you don’t treat your voice well, you can end up with your vocal chords being swollen and stiff. When this happens, the only way you can vibrate your vocal chords is by squeezing them extremely hard. Of course, the straining can just cause more damage ultimately resulting in vocal nodules, a polyps or cysts. I trained one girl that came to me with a vocal nodule that was as big as a golf ball. You could see it poking through her neck. I refused to train her until she got surgery. Many months later, after her Dr.’s release she came back to me and I rehabilitated her voice. She is one of the lucky one’s. A surgery like this could result in a different tone or sound to your voice and it may not be for the better.

3. Muscle tension dysphonia is another condition that can result from poor vocal health. When your voice box weakens and you have to overuse your neck muscles to support it, you may experience pain and vocal fatigue. When I’m teaching I can actually see the muscle tension coming before the student can feel it. Some singers are so used to singing like that they don’t know what it’s like to sing a song without straining. One of the best compliments I ever got was from a student who had been training with me for about a year. One day during warm-ups she said “I feel like I’m doing something wrong.” I asked, “why?” She said, “because since learning your technique, singing is so easy and it doesn’t hurt anymore.” That my friends is music to my ears.

About the Author:
Jessica has worked with industry leaders & motivational speakers including companies such as “Summit Seminars” (who currently work with “Tom Hopkins”), North American Title, Old Republic, Re/Max Today, and many more, teaching their team leaders techniques that will enhance each individuals voice for successful delivery and power. Jessica Ford is Nashville’s Premiere Vocal Coach. She brought her reputation and techniques from The Bay Area, California where she had been teaching and performing professionally for many years.

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